Bargain shopping: NL's six-figure All Stars
Well, I couldn’t very well name my American League Moneyball-Stars without assembling a National League roster as well.
The same rules apply: only selecting players with six-figure salaries and each team must be represented.
And, as with the AL team, we’ll pick the roster based on the positions of the players participating at Petco: eight starters, 13 on the bench (two catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders) and 14 pitchers (nine SP and five RP).
Myers, Bryant, Seager, Duvall and Ozuna are all rightfully headed to the All-Star Game, while Polanco certainly deserves to be there, too. Realmuto is the obvious choice behind the plate, while Marlins teammate Dietrich has covered nicely for suspended Dee Gordon at second.
Going with Seager at short means Russell is relegated to the bench, despite getting voted in to start in San Diego as part of an all-Cubs infield (I guess we could have slid him over the second base here, but he hasn't started there all year). Herrera got the nod to represent the Phillies, so he's in. Lamb would start as the DH, while Rockies rookie Story is another easy selection. Need some speed in the late innings? A 35-man roster for one game allows us to pick Hamilton for that very situation – he wouldn't even have to swing the bat.
Several of the starting pitchers here pretty much pick themselves – they have been some of the best in the league regardless of their salary – and Syndergaard would get first crack at it. Suarez is having a nice season and gets in to represent the Giants, while Jeffress and Vizcaino also make the cut on behalf of the Brewers and Braves, respectively. The other three relievers are all left-handers having nice seasons.
Starting eight: $4,355,900
As with the AL team, you could make a case for a bunch of relievers who have performed well over a small sample size. Cameron Rupp could definitely have been chosen as one of the back-up catchers and Wilmer Flores was one who just missed out on a bench spot. There are also a handful of starters – Wacha, Taillon, Urias and Co – who didn't quite warrant selection here but undoubtedly have bright careers ahead.
For the record, this team would cost $133,085 more than the AL squad – but paying the 2016 salaries of the entire 35-man roster would still be in excess of $6 million cheaper than what the Phillies are paying Ryan Howard.
*Salaries according to spotrac.com